Stay-At-Home Summer


Everyone has that one place on their bucket list. The place you just have to visit one day. That place you’ve read about, watched movies about, and dreamed about for years. Your list of places to visit may be long, but this place tops the list.

For me, that place is Italy. I dream of walking down cobble stone walkways eating a baguette, sitting in an open-air cafe drinking a cup of coffee, driving through the hills of Tuscany, eating half my weight in pizza…… 

This isn’t to say that I don’t love where I am at the moment or that I don't appreciate the incredible experiences I’ve had in different places, I would just really really like to visit Italy someday.

Now if you’re like me, you’re not in Europe for the summer. You may be at home, on an internship, or taking summer classes. You may be on the other side of Instagram, scrolling away and seeing your friends traveling to all these places on your bucket list- I get it.

To those of you who are traveling the world or studying abroad this summer: please don't stop sharing your pictures and experiences! I truly LOVE seeing pictures from my friends exploring the world. 

For those of you in the same boat as me (not the one floating down the canals of Venice), this is for YOU. You’ve got a month left of summer- give or take- and these are some fun ways to enjoy life right where you are while still dreaming big about the places you'll go one day.

1.  Make a recipe inspired by your dream destination.

I am a food person through and through so a huge factor that puts Italy at the top of my travel list is the food. Earlier this summer while Grant was in Italy staying at an Agritourisma, I decided that instead of just wishing I was there too, I would bring a little Italian inspiration to my family's kitchen at home. My mom and I made a run to Central Market and got the best ingredients we could find/afford. While playing some Italian tunes, we made a bruschetta board pulled from a couple different food blogs and it was SO good. This was the final product, with links to the recipes!


Classic Tomato Bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, basil & onions from Grant's garden. Recipe here.

Fig Jam, Brie, Proscuitto, and Arugula Crostini- recipe here.

Homemade Pesto, Mozzarella + Garden Tomato Crostini. Pesto recipe here.


2.  Watch a film set in a dreamy place.

I love movies because for a solid 2+ hours, they transport you to a different place and pull you in to all of the sights and sounds of places far away. My go-to films when I want a little getaway are Letter's to Juliet, Julie & Julia, and Midnight in Paris. Share with me what your favorites are!

3.  Become a tourist where you are.

Whether in your own hometown or in a town across the state, try to see wherever you are with tourist eyes. Research things to do like where to pick peaches, best swimming holes etc.  If you have the chance, make a weekend trip around it and explore your own state or neighborhood!
My parents at my new FAVORITE restaurant in Wimberley, Texas- The Back Porch.

My parents at my new FAVORITE restaurant in Wimberley, Texas- The Back Porch.

Floating the river in San Marcos.

Floating the river in San Marcos.

Fredericksburg peach picked right off the tree.

Fredericksburg peach picked right off the tree.

Beautiful swimming hole lined with Cypress trees in Wimberley, TX.

Beautiful swimming hole lined with Cypress trees in Wimberley, TX.

4.  Find a coffee shop or restaurant you’ve never been to and go with a friend

Coffee shops and restaurants are my favorite kinds of places and they are always the first thing I research when I am traveling to a new place. Find new ones around you, take a friend, and stay awhile.
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5.  Go to your local farmer's market

If you know me at all you know that I love farmer's markets- especially when I travel. Seek out your local farmer's market and spend a slow Saturday morning checking out the local vendors and indulging in some fresh produce and flowers.

I hope this gives you some inspiration to enjoy life right now instead of solely waiting for the future. Don't get me wrong, it's still fun to dream about the places you'll go one day- but don't let that distract you from where you are at this moment. For me, these seemingly simple tips turned what could have been a boring summer-at-home into a summer filled with memories and adventure. 

Enjoy the rest of your summer:-)